FEAST OF THE TRANSLATION OF ST. EDWARD THE CONFESSOR, KING OF ENGLAND. Born about the year 1002; anointed and crowned on Easter Day, 1042; died on the Eve of the Epiphany, 1066.
"HE was a mild, pious, but feeble prince: his heart, weaned from the world, sought comfort in religion, and the cares of government were a painful distraction to a mind musing on heavenly things. From his infancy he had been addicted to prayer. . . . He was modest in his comportment and sparing in his words."
Such is the character I read of him.
His reign was chequered by troubles, yet these not of such magnitude as to undermine his throne. His family affections seem to have been thwarted if not naturally tepid. His gratitude to the Normans, who entertained him at a period of his depressed fortune, worked prosperously for them, but at the cost apparently of his own native subjects. He gave away his crown by promise, contrary, as is alleged, to an established law of the realm: and, although his own career closed in peace, days of bloodshed and years of civil heartburning and animosity overtook England after him.
I accept him on trust as Saint and confessor: for, by studying the brief summary I write from, I discern him not as such by aid of my own faculties. Indeed, I do not perceive that "confessorship" was at all in question: for who challenged his faith?
Nevertheless, charity and obedience alike bid me question my own questionings and mistrust my doubts: and so I do.
"We know in part. . . . But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away."